Geek Of The Week: Iron Man

Geek Of The Week: Iron Man

Iron Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was co-created by writer and editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. The character made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 (cover dated March 1963), and received his own title in Iron Man #1 (May 1968).

A wealthy American business magnate, playboy, and ingenious scientist, Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark, former GOTW, suffers a severe chest injury during a kidnapping. When his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction, he instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. Later, Stark develops his suit, adding weapons and other technological devices he designed through his company, Stark Industries. He uses the suit and successive versions to protect the world as Iron Man. Although at first concealing his true identity, Stark eventually declared that he was, in fact, Iron Man in a public announcement.

Initially, Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes, particularly the role of American technology and industry in the fight against communism. Subsequent re-imaginings of Iron Man have transitioned from Cold War motifs to contemporary matters of the time. Stan Lee said “I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military….So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist….I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him….And he became very popular.”

Although this weeks geek is Iron Man, the real geek in this case is Stan Lee, former GOTW. RIP Mr. Lee.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.